James McAvoy loved getting his "ass kicked" by Charlize Theron in 'Atomic Blonde'.

James McAvoy

James McAvoy

The 38-year-old actor plays Cold War-era spy David Percival in the action thriller alongside Charlize as Lorraine Broughton and James admitted his character cannot compete with Charlize's in physical combat.

He told PEOPLE: "I didn't have a lot of fight scenes but I was pretty pleased with myself for figuring out how to keep a cigarette in my mouth while I was getting my ass kicked by Charlize Theron. And by the way I actually did, there was no camera trickery, I actually kept it in my mouth the whole time."

James sports a buzz cut in the movie but is currently bald as he prepares to reprise the role of Charles 'Professor X' Xavier in 'X-Men' movie 'Dark Phoenix', but James admitted he hates when he has to shave his head.

He explained: "I used to like the fact that it afforded me a certain amount of anonymity but it no longer does that. Since I did two movies that everybody saw where I had a bald head, now it's like a f***ing beacon. But what do I like about it? Not a lot at the moment. I like when it's been about five or seven days going in, then it's cool but when it's properly skinhead I look a bit weird. I do like the fact that I don't have to do anything in the morning."

And when he's not working, James prefers to chill out at home rather than throw himself into the Hollywood lifestyle.

He said: "What do I enjoy most when I'm not working? Hard drinking and drugs! No, like most good people, I enjoy the usual s**t. Playing football, reading, I like cooking. All these boring things I like to do when I'm not flying around the world crazy, just being safe at home."